Applying work measurements to identify productivity potentials: the case of prefabricated concrete elements

Søren Munch Lindhard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Determining productivity targets based on actual potential for productivity improvement; is essential for fostering continuous improvement. Developing realistic and work specific productivity targets has proven a huge challenge in on-site construction. The present research exemplifies how work measurement techniques can be used to identify improvement potential and develop such targets. Two work measurement techniques; work sampling and continuous time study have been applied during a five day period, where the installation of prefabricated concrete elements have been observed at a single project case. The study revealed high fluctuations in daily utilization and productivity rates; moreover, a strong relationship between direct work and productivity at work task level were identified (R2 =.827). Additionally, four managerial strategies for improving productivity were identified: (1) Enhance production start and stops; (2) improve flows; (3) optimize utilization of manning and avoid absenteeism; (4) shield the production from weather. To develop a realistic productivity target, the observed productivity day-curves have been modified, by adjusting for effects of variation and declines in productivity, revealing an improvement potential of 19.4%. The present study demonstrates how realistic productivity targets can be developed to support managers’ and managerial decisions and thus act as a starting point for continuous improvement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • construction management
  • continuous improvement
  • continuous time
  • goal setting
  • productivity targets
  • Work sampling


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